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Nonverbal predication in Movima

Abstract : Movima (isolate, lowland Bolivia) is a language with predicate-initial constituent order in the core clause. There is no copula in affirmative clauses. Unpossessed common nouns can function as main-clause predicates just as well as verbs. The difference between verbal and nonverbal predicates only becomes apparent in embedded (i.e. adverbial and complement) clauses: the predicate of an embedded clause is overtly morphologically marked, and the type of marking distinguishes verbal from nonverbal predicates. The same pattern occurs in negated clauses, which consist of embedded predicates preceded by a negative copula. The morphological marking of embedded predicates shows that not only verbs and nouns, but also demonstratives, locative adverbs, and even personal pronouns can function as predicates. Therefore, it is argued that there is no " pre-verbal " or " topic position " to express the syntactically privileged argument: in principle, any word that has the potential to function as a predicate has predicate status when forming the first constituent of the clause.
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Submitted on : Monday, September 17, 2018 - 2:14:46 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, October 19, 2021 - 6:51:41 PM
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Katharina Haude. Nonverbal predication in Movima. Simon Overall; Rosa Vallejos; Spike Gildea. Nonverbal predication in Amazonian languages, 122, John Benjamins Publishing Company, pp.217-244, 2018, Typological Studies in Language, 9789027200525. ⟨10.1075/tsl.122.08hau⟩. ⟨halshs-01848221⟩



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